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The old “Build an IKEA cabinet at 6:45 am” technique.

The old “Build an IKEA cabinet at 6:45 am” technique.
This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Creative Ways to Wake Up Your Family

When the alarm clock doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to bring out the big guns.

This is part of the series, “Creative Ways to Wake Up Your Family.” The content for this “back by popular demand” series stems from the 4,198-strong online private Facebook group, “Early Birds Who Live with Night Owls.” Contact me for invitation information.

I was particularly awake by 6:30 as I was awoken myself around 4:30 by the other sleepwalking son. When the buzzing alarm clock and even the classical music didn’t do the trick, I knew it was time to get that cabinet assembled in his room. Above his bed. At 6:45. While he was sleeping.

Tip #29: Try to instill other learning tools while waking them up. In this case: power tools aren’t just for daytime anymore. Bonus: measure twice, drill once. (Say these aloud as you work through them.)

There was an odd squeak, almost a squeal really, screaming out of the side of the cabinet as the screw tightly turned in the hole–this was just turning it by hand. I would have stopped so I didn’t wake anybody up, but, wait for it … that’s exactly what I was trying to do! Ha ha ha! It’s amazing how much fun you can have when you’re completely awake and someone you’re trying to wake up is completely asleep.

Tip #84: If you can also go over the geometry test while they have at least one eye open, there’s a statistical chance that some osmosis learning going on.

He was able to name the 5 types of atmospheres before he opened both eyes, so that was a good sign. He wasn’t moving yet, though, so it was time to bring out the power drill.

It’s not an especially loud drill, but in an enclosed space with the only other sounds being his deep breathing and the leaves rustling outside the window, the high-speed churning of that little motor packs quite a punch. I couldn’t even hold back my enjoyment and even whistled while I worked.

If they don’t stir at the first sound of the drill, pump the trigger like revving a car in the morning. It should get at least a head roll. If they pull a pillow over their heads, it’s especially handy if the cabinet is somewhere near their bed so you can get the drill nice and close.

I got the cabinet assembled and he was sitting up. Success! He wasn’t much help when I tried to get his opinion on where to hang it (in fact, he wasn’t even sure what piece of furniture I was even talking about), but my mission was accomplished: he was vertical.

Stay tuned to this series for more “Creative Ways to Wake Up Your Family” and be sure to leave your own tips in the comments. Until next time, nighty night early birds!

The old "Build an IKEA cabinet at 6:45 am" technique. [Driebergen, 6:45 am, Holland]

The old “Build an IKEA cabinet at 6:45 am” technique. [Driebergen, 6:45 am, Holland]

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  1. Saskia

    Uh, I wonder how our neighbors felt about this method?

    • Bradley

      The walls are solid brick. I’m hoping they’re OK. 😉

  2. Cyndi

    Buy a small dog. Every morning when you get up, get the dog up, tell him “time to wake up for kisses” and make him give you kisses for treats. He will catch on quick. Next time you want the boys up take the dog to to the boys room and repeat the phrase. “Time to wake up for kisses”. The dog will do the rest… don’t forget the treat.

    • Bradley

      We have a small dog. He’s on my list of “deeply breathing beings to wake up.” Maybe I need to buy better treats! Thanks, Cyndi!


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